Monday 27 November 2017

Canal Zander – Kippers and Kakorrhaphiophobia

Come March the 15th my mind will switch to the closed season double figure Zander challenge where I will start Pt 68 of my ongoing quest for big kipper. I wouldn’t say I fear failure because the end of the day eventually one will turn up, I’m sure of it. Maybe I’ve more of a fear to what to fish for next once a double graces my hook.

A 9lb Canal Zander PB ain’t to be sniffed at and hopefully my efforts will equal reward because to be honest, it can get a bit monotonous especially when schoolie after schoolie is caught.

Last closed season I really struggled to bank anything decent. I’m not sure why either because the same waters were covered, the same tactics employed. Many of those waters were a stone’s throw away so very convenient indeed, so I think maybe I need to cast my net a little wider.

I’m always up for a reccy on less familiar pastures, so this meet up was ideal, you see for this session Sam and myself ventured over to the Coventry Canal to meet up with fellow bloggers, fellow Zed heads as the annual pilgrimage to celebrate the birthday of now painter and decorator and new language leaner Jeff Hatt of Idlers Quest , who for now anyway, has hung up his rods, frozen his maggots.

A shame really as he was one of the reasons why I started keeping a diary of my fishing exploits, Idlers Quest was an enjoyable read for many and was sadly missed when he decided to no longer put finger to keyboard, so….

Jeff, kiedy zamierzasz zacząć blogować i łowić ponownie ...?

With a carpet bombing approach, ie with multi rods in the water as part of the social, I was hoping something half decent would turn up for someone, as to be honest, my results up till now on the couple of times I’ve fished the Coventry canal have been tough.

The clarity was much clearer than I’m used to for starters and I’m sure that didn’t help but not only that but the boat traffic seemed much less which would explain the clarity. The thing is these Zander can be stubborn, in one area but not the next and the transient nature can maybe help in my situation, as, having never fished it in anger, and no knowing the swims, maybe a big fish can be caught off guard.

Our tactics employed for this meet up, I’d be manning the deadbait rods, one with roach, the other lamprey, Sam would be fishing maggot under a float.

There was a heavy frost overnight and I woke up Sam at 7.00am he bolted right out of bed ready to go fishing. Thick welly socks donned, three layers, trapper hat, you get the picture. We arrived at 7.45am with Danny already at the basin so I quickly got two baits out for a natter. The sun was barely up, around 2 or 3 degrees or so and within half an hour Sam was clearly not enjoying it, fingers like ice blocks, nose going red, even after a cup of tea he was too cold so we had to up-sticks.

I thought a short walk up and beyond the moored boats would help, but no such luck. After one bait next to some cover the other by a moored boat, Sam was shivering and complaining his fingers were hurting still and that after wearing my pre warmed neoprene gloves too.

Now I rarely feel the cold, but Sam is 6 after all but I was hoping when the sun got higher he would be fine but when Danny joined us I decided we had to go, he wasn't enjoying it and no me willing him to enjoy was going to work, so back home it was.

After getting back to the car and dumping the tackle off James and Brian were now at the basin as was Jeff with his dogs, a good turn out so was disappointing I couldn't stay, oh well, one of those things.

After a quick natter it was homeward bound.

"Dad, can we have some dance music on"

Good lad....

With the tackle in the car and after dropping Sam off I decided to go and fish a canal nearer to me, sadly despite fishing a few spots that were good to me in the past, there was nothing doing. I've found when it's as cold as this the Zander don't move around much such are the leeches they are covered with but drop a bait on their head they are usually up for feeding. There was no fish there most likely, no boats during the session either which can get them shifted from their station.

I'm hoping the lads did better than me....

Anyone recommend some pocket warmers ?


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